The Memphis Firefighters Association president, Thomas Malone, says city residents should prepare to pinch more pennies because Memphis' fire protection rating through the Insurance Services Office will get worse.
"Just wait until these people realize that we're going to get out ISO rating dropped, and they're insurance is going to go through the roof. It's going to make that little tax increase they're talking about look pale in comparison," said Malone.
The Memphis Fire Department director, Alvin Benson, says fire protection ratings are based on several factors, including average response time, number of personnel, and coverage areas. And while Benson warns that additional cuts could be coming, he says its impact on the city's fire protection rating will not be known until after the next ISO evaluation.
"I don't want to speculate what the ISO ... What they would agree to or what they would determine with moves like this," said Benson. "The more you reduce the size of a department, it doesn't take rocket science to know that has, could have, an adverse impact on insurance. It may not but it could for sure."
Benson says he is still reviewing where else he will find ways to save money, and that the next fire protection ratings evaluation will not come until later in the fiscal year.